Spotted (and admired) on the table at a recent dinner party: a sturdy, handmade butcher block with a patchwork-like pattern. The boards are the work of Dave Ball, owner of Oakland, California, design studio Jacob May. Using domestic wood from local lumberyards, Ball meticulously hand assembles end-grain tiles—wood cut at right angles to the grain—to form a solid surface. The benefit of using end-grain wood as a cutting board goes beyond aesthetics: The softness of the end grain helps to preserve knife edges. The boards are made of white oak or walnut and come in three sizes. They're available through Jacob May and Quitokeeto.
Above: The Small White-Oak Heirloom Cutting Board measures 16 inches by 9 inches and is 1 5/8 inches thick. It weighs in at a hefty 6 3/4 pounds; $300 at Quitokeeto.
Above: The short sides of the cutting boards are detailed with finger grooves.
Above: The Black Walnut Cheese Board measures 15 inches by 4 1/2 inches and is a collaborative piece exclusive to Quitokeeto; $120.
Above: Each board has a brass plug on the back embossed with the Jacob May emblem. The emblem is recessed just enough to use as a hanger.
Can't have enough cutting boards? We know the feeling. See more of our favorites in 10 Easy Pieces: Display-Worthy Wooden Cutting Boards and 10 Easy Pieces: Wooden Cutting Boards with Cutouts for Hanging. Butcher block is also one of our favorite kitchen counter materials—and it's economical, too. Go to Remodeling 101 to learn if it's for you.